Sunnehanna Country Club was transformed into an enchanted forest with greenery, soft lights, the sounds of nature and fairy tale characters on Saturday night.
The change took place as part of a fundraiser hosted by the Memorial Medical Center auxiliary. More than 250 individuals attended the event, called “Once Upon a Time.” This year’s party raised money for a da Vinci Surgical System. In the past, funds brought in from the gala have helped Conemaugh Health System make improvements in numerous areas, such as mammography and catheterizations.
“There has just been so much good done from this event over the years,” said Kathy Gorzelsky, a co-chairwoman of the event with Sally Hill and Nancy Abrahams, along with honorary chairs, Dr. William and Kathy Carney.
Attendees not only paid $125 per ticket for a meal, musical entertainment by Flood City Brass and the chance to see Johnstown Concert Ballet members portray fairy tale characters, but they also financially contributed to a silent auction and made other donations. About 80 percent of the money raised will go toward the surgical system.
The rest will be spent on grants and scholarships.
“Our sponsors and patrons are very, very generous,” Gorzelsky said.
The da Vinci company’s website describes the system as a “sophisticated robotic platform designed to expand the surgeon’s capabilities and offer a minimally invasive option for major surgery.” The system will enable Conemaugh to improve its gynecological, cardiac and cancer surgical procedures.
“All medicine just continues to go forward in leaps and bounds,” Hill said. “In order to provide the best service here, we have to have the latest technology, and this is the latest thing in surgical operations.”
Having the cutting-edge surgical tool in place is expected to help recruit doctors to the hospital, Abrahams said.
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